Tag Archives: An Adventure in Space and Time

An Adventure in Space and Time to Screen in UK on 21 November

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BBC Two has announced on Twitter that it will be airing the Mark Gatiss penned docudrama on the genesis of Doctor Who at 9.00 p.m. on Thursday 21 November.  Fans in Australia must wait until 8.45 p.m. on Sunday 24 November when An Adventure in Space and Time will be shown immediately after the encore screening of the 50th Anniversary Special, The Day of the Doctor, on ABC1. 

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

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It’s About Time, It’s About Space

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ImageSo pervasive was the force of American television popular culture on this child of the 1960s that every time I type An Adventure in Space and Time, the forthcoming docudrama on the genesis of Doctor Who,  I have to make a correction that the spell checker never picks up. What error could this be, I hear you ask? Well, for the last 40 odd years a catchy little theme song has been running through my head that goes something like this “It’s about time, it’s about space, about two men in the strangest place …”

Yes, the Sherwood Schwartz created one season science fiction comedy series, It’s About Time, will forever make me type An Adventure in Time and Space. This 1966-1967 CBS show was in production at the same time as Schwartz’s more famous offering, Gilligan’s Island. It’s About Time chronicled the adventures of two astronauts that travelled faster than the speed of light and somehow found their way back to the prehistoric times. Their interactions with the locals were the constant cause of merriment.

The stars of It's About Time Frank Aletter and Jack Mullaney

The stars of It’s About Time Frank Aletter and Jack Mullaney

Having watched the short YouTube clip memories of my Australian childhood came flooding back as I recalled the days when we had only three TV stations.  It wouldn’t have mattered that It’s About Time was filmed in wonderful “Technicolor”, because we still only had black and white TV. Colour transmission didn’t begin in Australia until 1 March 1975. Name an American children’s themed TV show of the Sixties and you can be sure that it was played ad nauseam on one of Australia’s networks.

The clan of cavemen, in wonderful Technicolor, from It's About Time

The clan of cavemen, in wonderful Technicolor, from It’s About Time

I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between episodes two, three and four of An Unearthly Child and It’s About Time. The Cave of Skulls, The Forest of Fear and The Firemaker saw the Doctor and his companions, Ian, Barbara and Susan, caught in pre-historic times and at the mercy of likes of Za, Kal, Hur and Horg. As Season One of Doctor Who was never aired in the US the likelihood of Sherwood Schwartz having seen, let alone heard, about Doctor Who is negligible. Stranger things have happened, though!

The Doctor is at the mercy of cavemen in An Unearthly Child

A monochrome Doctor is at the mercy of cavemen in An Unearthly Child

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

An Adventure in Space and Time to Screen in Australia on 24 November

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The Doctor Who Club of Australia has today reported that An Adventure in Space and Time, the 90 minute drama on the beginnings of Doctor Who, is to screen on ABC1 at 8.45 p.m. on Sunday 24 November 2013. The Mark Gatiss penned docudrama will be broadcast following the repeat of the 50th Anniversary Special, The Name of the Doctor, at 7.30 p.m. The Name of the Doctor will first be simulcast early on the morning of 24 November.  The time has not yet been announced.

David Bradley with Claudia Grant as Carole Ann Ford (Susan Foreman) in An  Adventure in Space and Time

David Bradley with Claudia Grant as Carole Ann Ford (Susan Foreman) in An Adventure in Space and Time

Together with showing repeats of Series 6 of Doctor Who each weekday evening at 7.40 p.m.  ABC2 is also screening a series of Doctor Who Specials on Sunday nights at 7.30 p.m. Episode 1, which screened last Sunday night and is repeated this evening at 10.30 p.m. is The Science of Doctor Who.  Next Sunday, 3 November, is The Women of Doctor Who and the following Sunday, 10 November is The Timey-Wimey of Doctor Who. All specials are repeated on ABC2 on the Tuesday following their original broadcast and are available on iTunes for at least a week thereafter.

Sacha Dhawan as Waris Hussein, the Director of An Unearthly Child and Jessica Raine as Verity Lambert, Doctor Who's first Producer

Sacha Dhawan as Waris Hussein, the Director of An Unearthly Child and Jessica Raine as Verity Lambert, Doctor Who’s first Producer

To read our article on An Adventure in Space and Time click here.  For a detailed article on Doctor Who from an Australian perspective click here.

Vivien Fleming

Missing Episodes – Has Marco Polo Been Recovered?

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In an article published in the Radio Times the writer of An Adventure in Space and Time, Mark Gatiss, has indicated that “moments of lost episodes ,.. like Marco Polo” have been recreated for the drama. The 90 minute production, which dramatizes the origins of Doctor Who, will be aired in November as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations. Stars of the show include David Bradley as William Hartnell (the First Doctor), Brian Cox as Sydney Newman (Doctor Who co-creator), and Jessica Raine as Verity Lambert (first producer). The two surviving members of the original cast of Doctor Who, William Russell (Ian Chesterton) and Carole Ann Ford (Susan Foreman) appear in small cameo roles as “Harry” and “Joyce”. Mark Eden, who played Marco Polo in the missing serial of the same name, appears in the drama as Donald Baverstock, the Controller of BBC One.

Mark Eden as Marco Polo. Pictured behind him is William Russell as Ian Chesterton.  Both Eden and Russell appear in An Adventure in Space and Time

Mark Eden as Marco Polo. Pictured behind him is William Russell as Ian Chesterton. Both Eden and Russell appear in An Adventure in Space and Time

Rumours circulating prior to the announced recovery of The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear earlier this month speculated that Marco Polo was part of a three serial haul. So consistent were the rumours that an acronym circulated amongst fans for this alleged multiple story recovery – MEW (Marco, Enemy, Web). 

In our article on 21 October The Doctor Who Mind Robber mused upon the relationship between the revival of the Great Intelligence in Series 7 and the recovery of The Web of Fear, the second (and last) story in which the Intelligence appeared. In our humble opinion it appears that Doctor Who show runner, Steven Moffat, was aware of Web’s recovery and almost certainly resurrected the Intelligence to assist in the BBC’s marketing of the recovered episodes.

The Eleventh Doctor )(Matt Smith) with the Great Intelligence (Richard E. Grant) in The Name of the Doctor

The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) with the Great Intelligence (Richard E. Grant) in The Name of the Doctor

Given the precedent set by the Intelligence’s return, together with the long-standing MEW rumours, it’s at least arguable that Gattis’ recreation of elements of Marco Polo is a further example of a BBC missing episode marketing campaign. Should we anticipate an announcement on the return of Marco Polo not long after the broadcast of An Adventure in Space and Time? Let’s wait and see!

In the meantime, check out our gallery of brilliant promotional photographs for An Adventure in Time and Space here.

Radio Times produced retro poster for The Web of Fear

Radio Times produced retro poster for The Web of Fear

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.